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Salmon recovery projects in King County watersheds awarded $4.6 million in Cooperative Watershed Management grants

Summary

More than $4.6 million in Cooperative Watershed Management grant funding, provided through the King County Flood Control District, has been awarded for high-priority projects to restore salmon populations and improve watershed health.

Story

Salmon recovery efforts in King WRIA_logosCounty watersheds have received more than $4.6 million to support dozens of high-priority projects. And not a moment too soon, with the recent focus on the Southern Resident Killer Whales and their reliance on salmon for survival. 

Cooperative Watershed Management grant funding, provided through the King County Flood Control District, will go to projects that have been agreed upon by local governments, tribes and stakeholders as the highest priority for recovering salmon and improving overall watershed health.

“The hard work of our partners and continued investments in actions to protect and recover salmon are vital, so that we can start to see salmon numbers rebound,” said Cindy Spiry, Director of the Snoqualmie Tribe Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, and Snoqualmie Watershed Forum Chair. “We applaud the Flood Control District for supporting this good work.”

"Recovering our native chinook salmon populations requires a committed, sustained and collaborative effort,” said City of Bellevue Councilmember and WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council Chair John Stokes. “The funding provided by the Flood Control District allows us to make progress on our most important habitat restoration projects.”

“This funding exemplifies why it’s important to work together, across city, county, and flood control district boundaries, to identify the most important actions to take to save chinook salmon and orcas,” said Dennis Robertson, Tukwila Councilmember and WRIA 9 Watershed Ecosystem Forum Management Chair. “We are able to leverage funding from local, state, and federal entities to implement work that improves our watersheds for people, habitat for salmon, and food for orca whales.”

The $4.6 million grant awards for habitat restoration projects and monitoring, education and outreach programs will be allocated across the four King County watersheds:

  • $898,790 for the Snoqualmie/South Fork Skykomish Watershed (King County portion of WRIA 7)
  • $1,765,812 for the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8)
  • $1,746,308 for the Green/Duwamish Watershed (WRIA 9)
  • $232,807 for the Puyallup/White Watershed (King County portion of WRIA 10)

Highlights of how the watershed forums will direct the funding include:

  • $200,000 to remove a 375-foot-long illegal levee in the former San Souci neighborhood on the Tolt River, and open up 60 acres of previously blocked salmon habitat (unincorporated King County);
  • $48,106 to provide technical assistance to Snoqualmie River irrigators to inspect and upgrade fish screens on in-river pumps using the best available methods to protect fish (unincorporated King County);
  • $766,259 to construct the Riverbend Floodplain Restoration project on the Cedar River, greatly enhancing juvenile salmon rearing and refuge habitat by removing a levee and allowing the river access to its floodplain (unincorporated King County);
  • $143,490 for instream enhancements to Bear Creek (City of Redmond);
  • $348,000 to design streamside habitat restoration of Issaquah Creek (City of Issaquah), Bear Creek (unincorporated King County), and Taylor Creek (City of Seattle);
  • $220,000 for technical review, design, and project management to restore the marine shoreline and mouth of McSorley Creek in Saltwater State Park (City of Des Moines);
  • $780,000 to construct 2,000 feet of side channel habitat and increase flood capacity of the lower Green River, a project that leverages over $2.3 million in other funding (City of Kent);
  • $85,000 to conduct riparian and large wood studies on the Greenwater River to restore river processes to benefit salmonid adult spawning and juvenile rearing (unincorporated King County); and
  • $147,807 to maintain a fish monitoring station on the lower White River, which will provide estimates of salmon productivity and demonstrate how restoration efforts affect salmon (unincorporated King County).

Chinook salmon were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999. Since then, salmon recovery in the watersheds has been led by watershed-based coalitions comprised of cities, counties, tribes, businesses, non-profits, concerned citizens, and state and federal agencies.

Visit govlink.org/watersheds for more information on salmon recovery work in King County.